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Officials give update on early voting turnout ahead of Arkansas primary election

Officials are encouraging voters to cast their ballots in this year's primary elections.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Washington County election leaders say, so far, they’re seeing a higher turnout this year than in 2018's midterm primary.

“Our numbers are a little bit better than we did in 2018 which is a similar type of election,” said Washington County Election Commission Executive Director Jennifer Price. “We’ve done over 500 voters today, so we expect a steady turnout throughout the two weeks of early voting.”

Price explains Arkansas is an open primary system, meaning voters will not need to be registered with a party to vote. Instead, voters will be asked to pick a Republican, Democrat, or Nonpartisan ballot when they arrive at their polling location.

“We do want voters to know that you know this is the election for the political parties to choose their candidates to go on the general election ballot,” Price said. “When we get to the general election all of the parties will be represented on one ballot”

The primary election results will narrow the list of candidates for a given office and help pick nominees for political parties. 2022’s midterm elections come halfway through President Biden’s term with many positions up for grabs.

Voters in Arkansas will pick their new governor, attorney general and Arkansas lieutenant governor.

“This year we finished redistricting so there are a lot of different state Senate, state House districts and JP districts,” Price said. “We actually have a lot of contested races on the primary ballot this year than we've seen in previous elections”

Different from previous years, Arkansas law requires a photo ID to vote. If you need a photo ID, you can obtain a voter verification card from your county clerk’s office.

Accepted forms of IDs include a license, passport or a concealed handgun carry license.

Washington County officials also say they’re providing bilingual services along with translated forms.

“We're always recruiting poll workers and so you know trying to get enough poll workers,” Price said. “But then add into that trying to find bilingual poll workers is definitely a high priority for us.”

Price says that they provided Marshallese and Spanish translators in their county. She explained that students from Springdale High School were assisting with Spanish translating. Price says they had forms translated to assist with the voting process as well.

Officials expressed the importance of voters using the voter view website to find out more information on their polling locations, sample ballots, and each voter’s precinct. 

Click here for more information about the 2022 Arkansas Primary Election.

RELATED: Poll: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chris Jones lead in gubernatorial primaries

RELATED: Early voting begins for Arkansas primary and judicial races

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